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Temas em Psicologia

Print version ISSN 1413-389X


PERANDRE, Yhann Hafael Trad  and  HAYDU, Verônica Bender. A treatment program for social anxiety disorder by using virtual reality. Temas psicol. [online]. 2018, vol.26, n.2, pp. 851-866. ISSN 1413-389X.

Virtual Reality (VR) was used in this study as a therapeutic tool in a behavior-analytic intervention with two subjects who had social anxiety disorder. The goals were to assess the therapeutic effects of the intervention program and the VR simulator with regard to the ability to generate sense of presence and anxiety responses. The program consisted of: (a) initial session, (b) baseline, (c) intervention sessions with exposure to VR, (d) closing session, (e) follow up (up to one and three months after treatment). Sense of presence, anxiety and galvanic skin response were reported in each exposure therapy session and anxiety, depression and social phobia inventories were reported at the end of each stage. Functional analyses were formulated based on behaviors occurring in social contexts between sessions. The simulator produced anxiety and high levels of presence during exposure; and both participants had reduced levels of anxiety at the end of intervention and generalization to the natural context. In conclusion, behavior-analytic intervention with exposure to VR was effective and fostered a repertoire for coping with situations of social interaction.

Keywords : Virtual reality; social anxiety disorder; behavior-analytic therapy; sense of presence; galvanic skin response.

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